How do I get out of a listing agreement

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How do I get out of a listing agreement

I own a townhouse in Monroe county, PA. I signed an agreement with a local realtor to sell my home in May. 60 days later, I have decided to take my house off the market and request that she help renting it. My agent will not let me out of the contract unless I reimburse her 200 for professional photographer she used. She claims that she would not have taken professional pictures if I was interested in renting. My argument is that I tried selling the house for 60 days, but since I have not seen any offers come my way, I want to pull the house off the market and rent it now. I also want the same agent to rent it as I have desire to go anywhere else. The agent will not pursue rental until I reimburse her 200.

The contract does not state anything about reimbursements or my ability to take the house off market. I tried to reason with her but she will not let it go. I left her a VM and she is not returning my calls either. All communications have been via email so far. I’m willing to work with her and let her rent the house instead of selling, but she will not do that either unless I reimburse her first.
Question
1. Is there any reason why I cannot take my house off the market before the list contract expires. Nothing is stated in the contract?
2. Do I have to reimburse the agent 200. There is nothing in the contract other than the 6 commission she would get if she sold my house?

Not sure what to do next. There is nothing in the contract binding that states that the contract cannot be cancelled before 6 months if I decide to take the house off the market, or reimburse her for expenses.

Asked on July 11, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

While you need to double check the terms of your specific contract to be sure, generally with such agreements, you can de-list the house prior to the expiration of the contract--it's just that if you do sell it prior to the expriation of the contract, the realtor gets her commission.
You also typically would not have to reimburse her for the photographs, if there is no such clause in the contract. Of course, if you want to "the same agent to rent it," you will most likely need to reimburse her--after all, having been effectively burned by you for $200 and her time put into marketng the home, why would she possibly want to work with you on renting the home unless you at least reimburse her out-of-pocket costs? You are asking her to represent you when you are changng what you want mid-stream and caused her to expend time and money in support of a non-longer-applicable goal; that may not be realistic.


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